On the Way to Hamburg

Encountering very nice people is one of my favourite thing on the road. I don’t know if my staying in Germany also applies to the theme “road trip”, like Thelma and Louise. I just know, I like to be on the way, when meeting strangers with the most beautiful smile.

Sitting on the train. Outside of the window, sometimes sunny, sometimes rainy.

on the way to hamburg 1 on the way to hamburg 2 on the way to hamburg 3

The ticket controller approached. He was wearing square, black-framed glasses, tall, with some typical german beer belly and a small nose. He appeared to be nice, because of the smile always on his face, sometimes laughter, when talking to passengers.

I told him, “Sorry that i still need a ticket from Goettingen to Hamburg, I had no time to buy it…”

I wanted to ask, if it’s possible to buy it here. Normally it works.

He smiled, said, “Ok, I will come back to you later.”

Then for a long time, he didn’t come. Maybe he forgot? Or he did not understand what I said? He must come back and check the other people’s tickets that just came aboard the train. I can wait.

He came back, seeming not remember what i asked him.

So I asked again, “Sorry, can i do it now?”

He said yes. Smiled.

“To Hamburg main station?”


“Hmm, student life, huh? Stressful. Then he came to me a bit closer, said, I give you from Hannover.” Smiled.

That was more than ten euros cheaper than from Goettingen.

“Wow thank you. Yeah. Thank you that you could understand.”

“Well, when you receive you doctor degree, you can just invite me for a coffee.” Smiled, looking at me. He gave me the ticket, I gave him the money.

“Of course I will do that.” I smiled back.

“Have a good day.”

“Thank you, you too.”


I will remember this. I will remember him, this sunshine came to my heart when everything was grey and filled with uncertainty.

My career stuck in instability. Financially I was experiencing the biggest crisis of my life. But he came to me, with his understanding and smile, told me, no need to thank me for this little favour, just invite me for a coffee, when you get your doctor degree — when you achieve your dream.

I heard him telling me, you can do it. No matter how unsatisfying right now, it’s going to be ok. Why? Because after you did it, you will invite me for coffee.

Lighted up the greyest part of my heart. On that cloudy, rainy day.


It’s amazing how powerful a small nice thing by a stranger is, isn’t it? But on the other hand, whatever the same things told by the closest people around me, they are simply not so much believable to me. Because they are easily sugar-coded by love. The ticket checker definitely did not say these nice things about my study on purpose, but it was precise, right at the point. Although, maybe he did not really think so because he had no idea how I was at study, the outcome was simple — i felt appreciated, recognised, and thankful. Thankful to these nice little things on my way, I know, it will always work out.


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